An inquest in the case of 55-year-old Mario Hamel, who died while in the custody of the London Police Service, heard Monday that an officer lied on reports about inmate checks.

Hamel, who was drunk at the time, was being held in a cell at police headquarters on November 25, 2010 when he used his shirt to hang himself from the cell’s bars.

While he was supposed to be monitored every 20 minutes by police cadets, Sgt. David MacDonald acknowledged on Monday that records suggesting he had been checked on, were wrong.

His death came just hours after he was arrested for a liquor law violation.

Hamel had called 911 just before midnight, though it’s unclear why, and police decided the clearly intoxicated man should sober up at police headquarters.

Both police and Hamel’s wife testified that he was not suicidal or depressed, and the two arresting officers both said he was worried about getting to work in the morning.

However, Hamel’s wife said she knew he was scared to return to jail after spending some time there for a domestic-related incident a few months earlier.

Officers assured him his stay would be temporary, until he sobered up, and that he would make it to work on time.

He was processed shortly after 1 a.m. and spent the next hour in a cell, and while police records show he was checked on several times, McDonald testified those records weren’t accurate and that Hamel hadn’t been checked on in over an hour.

Video evidence showed that at 2:53 a.m. Hamel removed his shirt and by 3:03 a.m. he was lying lifeless on the cell floor.

His body wasn’t discovered until 4:07 a.m. and he was pronounced dead at 4:42 a.m.

In 2011, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) found there were no reasonable grounds to charge any of London’s officers in the case.

At the time, SIU Director Ian Scott said there was no suggestion the two officers involved were aware of Hamel’s situation and chose to ignore it.

A five-member jury is listening to testimony all week, and is expected to make recommendations for preventing similar deaths.